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GfK Identifies 10 Million U.S. Households as High-Value Targets for Pet Retail


February 4, 2015

A new GfK analysis has identified more than 10 million U.S. households that represent the greatest potential value for pet retailers and manufacturers.

Using GfK’s Pet Owner Navigator, manufacturers and sellers in the pet retail marketplace can target their most important potential customers more efficiently in specific geographies through promotion dollars, shelf-stocking decisions, in-store promotions and other marketing efforts.

Pet Owner Navigator divides consumers nationwide into six groups based on their pet attitudes, buying habits and location of residence. The highest value segment, Privileged Pet, represents 9 percent of U.S. households. It is well educated and has a high likelihood of earning more than $100,000 annually. Members of this group tend to live in urban and inner suburban areas and prefer to purchase pet food at pet specialty stores; they appreciate the expertise of the store owners and are generally not concerned that the prices may be a bit higher.

Other groups tracked by Pet Owner Navigator are Waffling Woofers, who are not loyal to a particular pet channel; Bargain Buddies, who are driven primarily by price concerns when it comes to pet purchases; Cyber Sidekicks, who would rather shop for pet products online; Vets R Us, who visit their veterinarians often and strongly prefer to buy their pet supplies there; and Antipetism, who are not likely to own a pet or buy pet products.

GfK’s Retail and Technology team developed Pet Owner Navigator by segmenting extensive data on U.S. consumers. Using this analysis, manufacturers or retailers can allocate marketing funds against the right geographies and stores; distributors can support retailers with the right marketing programs; and marketing and sales professionals can distribute marketing dollars more wisely.

“The days when stores and manufacturers could simply ‘mass-target’ their customers have passed,” said Neil Portnoy, managing director of GfK’s Retail and Technology team in North America. “Using Pet Owner Navigator, retailers and manufacturers alike can personalize their offers, product selection and marketing activities for maximum effect in a given region. Privileged Pet may represent the biggest opportunity but it is also essential to know if customers in a certain area prefer to shop online, are driven by price considerations, or tend to rely on their vets for pet products. Each of these suggests a different set of tactics for both manufacturers and sellers.”

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